Friday, January 11, 2008

Save it, Oscar

Oscar Wilde once said 'There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.'

Now for the shameless and crazy-brave Oscar this may well have been the case, but we lesser, flawed and vulnerable mortals find it kind of painful. Especially when it's kind of nasty, and kind of secretive, and we know we have indeed said and done some reprehensible things under pressure and probably deserve to be trashed behind our backs, and we also know we can't confront either of the people involved and therefore can't defend ourselves.

One of my all-time favourite TV shows was Northern Exposure, not least for the moment when that fine actor Rob Morrow, playing the besieged Dr Joel Fleischman, says to himself through gritted teeth, 'Suck it up, Fleischman.' I've been saying this to myself periodically ever since, and am saying it to myself again now.

11 comments:

fifi said...

oh!


Tell me who these mean people are and I'll be right over and slap them.

bah!

Pavlov's Cat said...

Alas, can't be done. But thank you very much for the thought!

BlissHill said...

They're called 'passive aggressive' and they can be ruthless. As my man says, you gotta 'spit or swallow', and wait for it to pass. Confronting them just ramps up the violence.

Been there, done that......

Bernice said...

Must be the season...I have a strict policy of not speaking about anyone who may be in the building...because on those occasions when your tongue runs away with itself, the subject of one's outburst, comment or diatribe is of course standing within hearing. & there never seems to be a stapler handy with which to pin the offending evil thing to a horizontal surface as penance...

Suse said...

Spit or swallow. Yes, I like that one.

I was sitting in a lecture theatre late last semester when (prior to the lecture beginning, I hasten to add) two young women behind me started talking about "this fabulous tv show my dad used to watch" and as she described it I realised she was talking about Northern Exposure. Excitedly I turned around and informed her of the name of the show and asked her if she used to watch it too. She replied deadpan that she wasn't allowed to stay up and watch it as she was 3 at the time.

Sigh. Sometimes I forget I'm a mature age student.

Kathleen said...

Well to even the karma up a bit: I picked up a copy of "North of the Moonlight Sonata" last week, PC, and I am loving it.

So there.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Bernice -- well, indeed. One is reminded of all the times when one has been less than noice about somebody else. Hence 'suck it up' etc.

Kathleen -- Oh my goodness. That's very gratifying. But it's such a slim volume you'll probably have finished it by the time you read this comment! I think my favourite stories are the one about country music and the one about the conference.

Elsewhere007 said...

I use the title story on my course...

Kathleen said...

Oh, on flicking, I went straight to the conference story, I assure you! And was it "Female Friends" - did I get that title right? Loved it.

The most amazing part of this was that I picked it up at the terrifying Gould's Book Arcade, in Newtown, Sydney. It is a black hole for books - if you go in searching for something in particular, you're deadmeat. And if you ask the equally terrifying Bob Gould where a genre might be located, he waves towards the myriad stacks (up and downstairs), with scores of boxes of books stacked up in front of the stacks themselves, and says, "Over there somewhere." Part of me itches to tidy it up and turn it into Newtown's answer to NYC's Strand, and part of me loves how shambolic it is.

But I went in for no reason whatsoever, and ended up having to cull. I'm taking it as a good omen for 2008.

Anonymous said...

EC sez...
PC, blisshill and bernice offer wise counsel; as hurtful as the situation is, it will soon be yesterday. Abundant creativity and day to day diplomacy are a difficult juggle. Dr. Joel struggled with it, but he also did wonderful things for people. Just as you do with your writing.

kathleen, brilliant vignette about Black Hole Bobs. Visits to Sydney wouldn't be the same without whiling away a blissful hour amongst the trash and treasure of Gould's Emporium. On a good day the old bastard will even smile and have a chat.

Tony said...

PC, forget Northern Exposure. When it comes to dealing with painful situations, look instead to the philosopher Woody Boyd:

Woody: "Back home in Hanover, we don't talk about our feelings, we just lock it all in, push it down, deeper and deeper."

Frasier: "Tick, tick, tick..."